Sydney-based aerospace SME Hawker Pacific has delivered the final of four modified King Air 350 aircraft to the Royal New Zealand Air Force, highlighting the overseas export potential of Australia’s defence industry and its ability to support our allies.
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Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price praised the implications of the deal for bilateral relations.
“New Zealand is one of Australia’s closest friends and defence partners. Trans-Tasman co-operation is strengthening our already strong bilateral relationship,” Minister Price said.
“Just recently, the Minister for Defence and I spoke with New Zealand Defence Minister the Hon Ron Mark about working together in the fight against COVID-19.”
She also said it was great to see yet another Australian company achieving export success.
“This is a significant defence export by a local company, demonstrating the capability of Australia’s defence industry as a global exporter,” said Minister Price.
“Supporting Australia’s defence industry remains a priority, particularly through the COVID-19 recovery phase, and there are many opportunities for Australian and New Zealand businesses to work together.
Hawker Pacific secured the 10-year contract for both King Air 350 sensor and non-sensor aircraft, along with engineering and logistics support for the aircraft and associated ground training systems. The aircraft will be used by the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s 42 Squadron, based at Ohakea, NZ.
The King Air 350 is a light twin-engine, fixed-wing aircraft, capable of carrying up to nine passengers. Prior to the Hawker Pacific order, the NZDF maintained four KA350s in its fleet, introduced as part of the Air Crew Training Capability project (ACTC).
The NZDF said that the model has been modified for use in various capacities, including:
- Air warfare training; and
- Sensor suite training.
Hawker Pacific’s special missions design team in Sydney were responsible for the project management and design engineering, while installation and testing was conducted by workers at its Bankstown facility.